Single dad opens up about raising his “little princess”

Single dad opens up about raising his “little princess”

The single dad-of-three reveals what's he's learned about raising real princesses, who are kind, caring, compassionate and most of all, loved.

“[It’s] a job that never ends,” single dad Serge Bielanko writes of fatherhood. “But a job I’m glad to have.”

“My youngest two are my sons, ages 5 and 2. But my oldest one, my first child, the one who kicked off so much for me in my life, that’s my daughter,” he shares. “Her name is Violet; she’s 7. And I’m not ashamed to admit that she is my princess.”

Though he knows referring to his daughter as a princess is enough to make most parents cringe, he admittedly doesn’t care. “Violet is my PRINCESS, y’all. Point blank. That’s the way it is."

“I raise my princess the same exact way the coolest, smartest parents have been doing it for the last billion years. I make sure my daughter feels loved.”

He clarifies, however, that his only daughter has no idea he refers to her as such. Instead, he wants to make her feel like she's a princess without ever using the term.

“See, the whole secret to raising any kind of princess is not to let her in on any of it! I’m really serious here,” he emphasizes. “The one tried-and-true trick to helping your princesses along the road of strange, cruel life is pretty much keeping it a secret all of the time.”

“I raise my princess the same exact way the coolest, smartest parents have been doing it for the last billion years. I make sure my daughter feels loved.”

What’s his secret, then? He says it’s as simple as listening and investing time to let her talk about her interests, because they are important to her. “I listen to my daughter. A lot. I listen to her talk to me about stuff that’s important to both of us. But a lot of other times, I end up listening to her talk to me about stuff that is way more important to her, not me.” He continues to recount his daughter’s adorable Godzilla obsession in detail.

More on Serge's parenting journey on the next page

“I try to listen as much as I talk, and I try to let my daughter know, with subtle words at the end of every long day, that I’m really proud of the kid she has become.”

How he does this exactly is by highlighting specific deeds he’s proud of. Like, commending her for being a good friend or for her helping her little brother get up after a tumble.

Wherever they are, he makes it a point to appreciate one or two things about her and to tell her every day.

"That’s how I figure you end up creating a real princess. With kind words. With support. With listening."

He keeps himself aware, however, of when he’s going overboard. “There’s never any overkill; there’s never any spoiling or head-feeding or anything like that,” clarifies the dad of three. “My praise, my affection, my words, I try to keep them as organic and as down-to-Earth as humanly possible.”

By mixing all of this with firmness and discipline, he assures his fellow dads that “what (they will) ultimately end up with is the only kind of princess any of us are ever really going to need in our lives.The real kind, not the fairytale kind.”

“That’s how I figure you end up creating a real princess,” he says “With kind words. With support. With listening.”

"...we all want daughters who will grow up to be strong, loving, caring, and passionate."

"We want little girls who grow up feeling confident and curious," he writes. Adding that all parents long to make their daughters feel as loved as any of the princesses they see in films or read about in storybooks. "We all want daughters who will grow up to be strong, loving, caring, and passionate."

Though he is a solo parent, he tries his best to "get it right". And he does so by making his daughter, and two sons, feel as loved as they possibly can.

He ends by sharing this video of how Disney dads encourage their young daughters, hoping to inspire other dads to raise fearless dreamers and real princesses.

READ: 12 Things about being a single dad no one tells you

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Written by

Bianchi Mendoza

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